HC Deb 05 October 1944 vol 403 cc1134-5
76. Mr. Hugh Lawson

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that the formation of charitable organisations for the assistance of ex-Service men is strong evidence that the present scale of pensions to ex-Service men is inadequate; and if he will therefore review this scale.

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

The primary reason for these charitable organisations is to meet exceptional cases or circumstances which are outside the province of State liability and which could not be brought within the framework of any pensions scheme. I cannot, therefore, regard their existence as affording any ground for a review of the scale of war pensions.

Mr. Lawson

Is the Minister not aware that the whole of the needs of those who have suffered in any way as a result of service in this war should be a State liability, and not the liability of private charities?

Sir W. Womersley

I am aware of that, and I provide for that. But there are exceptional cases which cannot be provided for under any Act of Parliament, and I can make provision only according to Acts of Parliament.

78. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Minister of Pensions whether ex-members of the Forces who return disabled to their homes in Eire will be entitled to the same pensions and other benefits from his Department as those resident in Great Britain.

Sir W. Womersley

Yes, Sir, The Royal Warrants and other instruments which I administer apply in full to disabled ex-Service personnel in Eire. They will receive pensions at the same rates as residents in Great Britain, and will be equally eligible for the best medical treatment that can be provided for their Service disabilities.

Sir P. Hannon

Are men in His Majesty's Forces who are recruited from Eire, treated in every respect similarly to English, Scottish and Welsh members of the Forces?

Sir W. Womersley

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Bellenger

Does my right hon. Friend's answer mean that there will be pensions committees and hospitals in Eire, for the treatment of those badly wounded ex-Service men?

Sir W. Womersley

Yes, Sir. I have a hospital there now and war pensions committees operating throughout the whole of Eire, and every condition which applies to the United Kingdom applies to Eire.